George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Moustier, 18 September 1788

From Moustier

New York 18th Septr 1788


I have but this moment recd, upon my return from Fort Stanwix, the letter which your Excellency did me the honor to write to me on the 17th of last month. I am much obliged to you for the detail which you gave me respecting the commerce between France & the United States, but shoud have wished it had been more particular. The expected departure of the squadron of M. de Saineville from Boston, which I am desireous of visiting, will not permit me to remain in New York more than 15 hours, to prepare myself for my new Journey.1 I hope to return in a few weeks and to answer more particularly to the different interesting Objects which you have touched upon in your letter.

I flattered myself, Sir, that I should have had the honor of paying my personal respects to you in the course of this summer, but my tour to Fort Stanwix having detained me longer than I expected, I begin to fear that I shall be obliged to postpone my intended journey to the Southward ’till next year—I am very glad to have it in my power to congratulate you upon the adoption of a plan of Government, which you have strongly recommended to your Citizens, and the success of which cannot but be infinitely interesting to every friend of the United States. I have the honor to be, with the most respectful & inviolable attachment Sir, Yr Excellency’s Most Obedt & very Hble Sevt

Le Cte de Moustier

Translation, in the hand of Tobias Lear, DLC:GW; ALS, in French, DLC:GW.

1The following story appeared in the Boston Gazette, and the Country Journal on Monday, 22 Sept.: “On Monday last a very elegant Entertainment was given on board the Superb, by the Marquis de Sainneville, commandant of the French Squadron in this Harbour.—The Governor, the Lieutenant-Governor, His Excellency John Adams, Esq. the Hon James Bowdoin, Esq. the Consul of France, the Dutch Consul, the Gentlemen of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives who were in town, the Treasurer, Secretary, &c. formed the party on this occasion.

“On Wednesday His Excellency the Governor, gave an elegant Entertainment to the Marquis de Sainneville and the other French officers, &c. and in the evening a superb ball.

“A series of mutual and polite attentions from the officers of the French squadron to our citizens, and from our citizens to them, has been received ever since their arrival. Foremost in these attentions has been his Excellency the Governour, who has omitted no opportunity to render the stay of the officers here as agreeable and as happy as possible.

“The fleet will probably depart hence during the course of the present week.”

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